How To Find Your Target Audience on TikTok

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Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2023

TikTok 101

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TikTok is home to more than one billion monthly active app users around the world. You’ll find an immense diversity in its communities, gathering around shared specialized interests, values, identities, etc. The platform is also where more and more people are choosing to spend a lot of their time. If you’re a creator or brand, it’s high time you know how to find your target audience on TikTok. 

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Who Is Your Target Audience on TikTok?

Before you start exploring how to find your target audience on TikTok, you need to know who they are. What is your audience type according to demographics? Who is your target audience in terms of their niche interests, identities, or subcultures? 

You need to answer these questions to connect with people who are right for you on TikTok. Connecting with the right audience leads to authentic relationships and drives loyalty and engagement. 

Take note, however, that narrowing down your audience demographics is less important than understanding their interests and passions. The “who” refers more to how they identify themselves according to their affinities and quirks when they’re on the platform. 

Identifying your target audience will help you find your TikTok niches and vice versa. Being able to do both will help you thrive and put you on the path to TikTok’s success. 

Three Essential Practices for Finding Your Audience on TikTok

There’s no single formula for how to find your target audience on TikTok. But you can employ these three essential practices to help you capture the right audience. 

1. How To Find Your Target Audience on TikTok: Optimize Your Content for the For You Feed

The For You feed is the quickest way to find your target audience on TikTok. To be more precise, it’s where your target audience discovers you for the first time or sees your new videos. 

The For You feed is the first thing users see when they open TikTok. It showcases content that a user may love based on their interests and interactions on the platform. This means no two For You feeds are the same. 

How can you snag a spot in this prime digital real estate? How do you optimize your content for the For You feed? Here are some quick tips. 

  1. Research. Learn what users in your niche/s enjoy on TikTok. Check out similar accounts/brands and popular influencers with the same specialization as you. Identify their most popular videos that are also similar to your content. Study these videos to find out what makes them resonate with audiences. 
  2. Experiment. Try different content styles and formats — but remember to choose ones that let you stay authentic to your brand voice. You can be both funny and informative if you mainly create tutorial videos. Create straight-up how-to videos and throw in some fun challenges now and then. Or use popular effects, such as the green screen, to deliver more entertainment value. 
  3. Learn. Check your analytics regularly. Study your metrics to find out what types of content are most popular among your viewers. Which ones are getting the most views? Engagement? What times are you reaching the most people? Repeat what works to see if you can produce the same results. Make changes where needed to get better results. 

2. How To Find Your Target Audience on TikTok: Identify Your Subcultures

Subcultures are a new type of demographic on TikTok. You can explore how to find your target audience on TikTok by learning more about subcultures relevant to your community. 

A macro-community on TikTok may have a number of subcultures within it. If you’re all about skincare, you can explore subcultures interested in skincare routines, anti-aging, glowing skin, makeup, etc. If you’re in the #techtok community, look at #coding or #pcbuilding niches. 

Find subcultures catering to more specialized interests that are also relevant to your target audiences. Creating specialized content means narrowing down your audience targeting. But you will also be focusing on a more dedicated and active niche community so that you can expect higher engagement. 

3. How To Find Your Target Audience on TikTok: Get More Insights With Hashtags  

Hashtags are another option for how to find your target audience on TikTok. Hashtags can help you find a source audience based on the following:

  • Topics they’re interested in;
  • Sounds they’re listening to; 
  • Challenges they’re watching or participating in;
  • Subcultures they’re engaging with; 
  • Trends they’re following; 
  • Accounts they like; or
  • Their passions, values, or aesthetics.

Use the TikTok search bar to discover content and accounts related to any hashtag. Or visit the TikTok Creative Center to find hashtag trends and insights. Check out creators and influencers with the most number of followers in your niche. See what hashtags they’re using. 

A white tile with the hashtag symbol in front of letter tiles spelling the word “Hashtag.”

How To Find Your Target Audience Through Trends

TikTok churns out trends like there’s no tomorrow, and users eagerly flock to the platform to participate in them. Identifying relevant trends is another option you can explore for how to find your target audience on TikTok.  

Here are some of the hottest trends that are worth checking out!

  • The #POV trend currently has close to 900 billion views. The trend is simple. You simply need to recreate an everyday situation from the POV of a particular character. For example, you can create a video from the POV of a person on a date with a food blogger. 
  • The #StoryTime trend began on YouTube and has become a popular mainstay on TikTok. The format is simple. A creator shares an interesting anecdote while performing a task or some mundane routine. 
  • Everybody enjoys sharing their physical transformations! With almost 100 billion views, the #GlowUp trend is a permanent fixture on TikTok. Whether it’s a fitness journey, before-and-after makeup look, or a glam makeover for a special occasion, glowing up is fun!
  • TikTok users absolutely love consuming unfiltered, unadulterated content! It’s no wonder #MyRedFlags hashtag grew to more than 100 million followers so quickly. The trend involves users poking fun at themselves/others while sharing their red flags or problematic traits. 

TikTok Analytics and Finding Your TikTok Target Audience

Here’s how to find your target audience on TikTok via your analytics. 

Your TikTok analytics does not only give you insights about your videos’ performance. You can also get tons of information about the users you’re reaching with your content. Every profile or video view you get can potentially translate to a new follower. 

The number of likes and comments you receive can tell you whether or not it’s resonating with viewers. The new followers you gain from your LIVE stream are all potential customers. 

Which sections within your Analytics should you focus on to learn more about your target audience?

  • Content tab. Explore this tab to get extended data and analytics for each of your videos. Find out your total views, likes, comments, and shares. Check your average watch time, watched full video percentage, traffic source type, and audience territories. 
  • Followers tab. This section gives you information on where your audiences are from. You can also check the times of the day or week when your followers are most active on TikTok. 
  • LIVE tab. Find information like total views, new followers, total time, etc. 

Your analytics can help guide your content strategy so you can duplicate the positive results and make improvements where necessary. Figure out what works and keep doing it to reach more interested viewers and generate more engagement. Analyze your analytics to understand what types of content capture audiences’ attention. 

Two people analyzing analytics on a laptop.

How To Find Your Target Audience on TikTok Via Ads

A better understanding of your audiences will help you optimize your advertising campaign for effective audience targeting and TikTok retargeting. TikTok offers TikTok Business accounts four options to reach the right audiences via TikTok ads manager. Here’s how to find your target audience on TikTok with ads. 

Investigate Custom and Lookalike Audiences

You can explore how to find your target audience on TikTok using an ad campaign and creating TikTok custom audiences. Use information from a previous campaign or any target market data you’ve collected to create custom audiences. 

For example, your custom audience can include users who previously visited your website or subscribed to your email newsletter. Your target audience can also include users who engaged with your TikToks. And you may exclude people from your ad campaign if they’ve already purchased from you. 

You can also create lookalike audiences based on your existing followers’ characteristics. This means your campaign will be targeting users who exhibit these characteristics. You can simply upload a list of customers in your loyalty program to TikTok Ads Manager, for example. The system will use this list to find more audiences that share the characteristics of your customers on the list. 

How To Find Your Target Audience on TikTok: Demographics

Try demographic targeting as an option for how to find your target audience on TikTok with ads. This is the most basic targeting strategy, which uses audience information such as age, gender, location, language, and ethnicity. When promoting a video, demographic targeting lets you capture a wider audience based on broader categories. 

In TikTok Ads Manager, you can customize your targeting based on the following demographics:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Language 

Dig Deep Into User Interests and Behaviors

Targeting users by their interests and behaviors is another strategy for how to find your target audience on TikTok. Optimize your ad’s targeting by identifying specific interests and behaviors that make users more likely to make a purchase. 

Find out what types of videos they enjoy the most, for example, and create a similar video for your ad. Here are some tips. 

  • To optimize targeting based on user interests, deliver an ad using keywords that are most relevant to their interest categories. 
  • To optimize targeting based on user behaviors, you can find audiences by following their recent engagement with certain video categories. 

How To Find Your Target Audience on TikTok: Device Type

TikTok Ads Manager also lets you explore how to find your target audience on TikTok based on device specifications. This strategy can be highly effective in identifying your intended audience, especially if you’re in the #techtok or similar communities. 

For example, if you’re promoting a new Android app, you can narrow down your target audience through their devices. 

TikTok Ads Manager offers the following device targeting options:

  • Operating system
  • Operating system version
  • Device model
  • Connection type
  • Carrier
  • Device price

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How To Find Your Target Audience on TikTok and Grow a Loyal Fanbase

Knowing how to find your target audience on TikTok is essential for any creator or business on the platform. However, keep in mind that your audience-targeting strategy on other platforms, no matter how effective, may not work on TikTok. TikTok users’ interests, behaviors, and motivations are not the same as on other social media. And TikTok’s algorithm also operates on a different and more effective level than other popular platforms. 

Understanding how algorithms work is crucial to audience targeting and content optimization — wherever you operate on the vast social media spectrum. But it’s even more important when growing a loyal fan base on TikTok. 

The For You feed recommendation algorithm does a great job matching accounts to users and facilitating community building. When you nail this algorithm, users suitable for your brand will discover you easily. And you’ll hit your community’s sweet spot and claim a prominent place on their feeds every time you post. Finding the right TikTok community and thriving in it almost always guarantees lasting success on the platform. 

You can also have your technological advantage and increase your audience-targeting precision. Team up with a TikTok growth expert like High Social to leverage their advanced, proprietary AI tool. Subscribe to High Social, and you’ll be more certain about how to find your target audience on TikTok. Start growing your TikTok today!

TikTok 101